Down eased into the semi-finals of the Senior Two Cup with a thrilling 5-3 win over Parkview last weekend.

The locals were cruising at 3-0 when the wheels came off and Parkview hauled themselves back into contention, scoring three times to level the scores at the interval.

But Down upped the tempo in the second period and scored another two goals. They should have scored a bagful more, but Parkview 'keeper, Richard Nesbitt, had an outstanding game, making a number of impressive saves.

Down have played Parkview three times this season, twice in the league and last week's cup encounter and scored a total of 20 goals, conceding just three.

The draw for the semi-final has not yet been made, but Down will not be bothered about who they will face as they are on the crest of a wave at the moment.

Last weekend, Paul Tate and Ashley Gibson both scored two apiece, while Chris Lennon, who was making his first appearance for the senior side since before Christmas, weighed in with the other goal.

In what was a truly cracking cup tie, Down took the lead with their first attack of the game. Lennon and Sinclair White combined to set up Tate who unleashed a ferocious shot from just inside the penalty area which flew into the roof of the net.

Parkview, who relied heavily on Paul Harvey and Willie Young to create openings, started brightly with Adam McDonald buzzing in the middle of the park before he had to leave the field with a nasty head injury.

Young had a glorious chance to level the scores in the sixth minute, but his shot was kicked clear by Down's 'keeper. The ball found its way to Lennon who got his head down and after exchanging passes with Ringland,  he fed Tate who rifled another shot into the net.

Young was again denied at the other end as Parkview tried to force their way back into the cup tie. But it was Down who made it 3-0 when Lennon was rewarded for a surging run into the heart of the Parkview penalty area to fire home a cross from Ferguson past Nesbitt.

It was all one-way traffic at this stage, but Parkview refused to throw in the towel and in a five-minute spell of madness, Down allowed the home side back into the game.

Harvey's shot corner strike was saved by Down's 'keeper, but no defender cleared the rebound which fell to Young who scored with two Down defenders on the line. Two minutes later, Young scored again when Down were caught on the break.

Incredibly, the home side made it 3-3 after Down made a total hash of a short corner. The ball was drilled forward and with Young and his younger brother John finding themselves with only James Erskine in front of them, Willie then picked his spot in the corner.

Down were dreadful during this period, but the side has tremendous character and fought back in style in the second period when Parkview were reduced to 10 men after McDonald had to be taken to hospital.

Nesbitt then produced a one-man wonder show with a number of saves to deny Mark Elliott, Gibson, White, Ferguson and Ringland as shots were peppered at him from all angles.

Gibson eased Down tensions when he tucked away a penalty stroke and as Young celebrated what he thought was his side's fourth goal, Down's 'keeper managed to keep the Parkview forward's shot from going into the net.

Gibson then scored his second of the day following a goal mouth melee, just minutes after a tremendous shot he launched from the edge of the penalty area crashed against the crossbar.